Ramesh Krishnamurti


In September 1989 I was invited to join the faculty of the School of Architecture at Carnegie Mellon University. I was tenured and became a full professor in 1994. My responsibilities include both undergraduate and graduate teaching and Ph.D. advising. In 2000-01 and 2002-03 I served as the Chair of the Department’s graduate program.

Much of my work has a multi-disciplinary flavor. I have worked on object-agents in design environments, knowledge-based design systems, the integration of natural language and graphics, spatial algorithms, robotic construction, computer simulation, computer graphics and graphical programming environments, user-interfaces for a variety of design applications and computer supported collaborative work. I am currently working with researchers from Civil Engineering and Robotics, looking at the utilization of laser scanning and embedded sensor technologies within a dynamically changing construction environment, and in “interpreting” the 3D as-built environment model generated through scanners and embedded sensor systems, and “assessing” the implications of what is interpreted; and with researchers from Delft University, looking at generative design and model representations, and motivated by the fact that different groups of people and applications have different views of the same informational structure.

I teach and have taught courses in shape grammars, spatial constructions, geometrical modeling, computer animation and have taught courses in configurational design, symmetry, geometry, computer modeling, computer programming, and user interface design.


My principal area of research is in computational design with particular emphasis on the formal, semantic and algorithmic aspects of generative construction and the development of design as computation via highly-coupled parallel explorations of form and description. I am perhaps, best known, for my work on the computational problems in shape grammar theory and for algorithms for spatial patterns.

I read Electrical Engineering at the University of Madras, India and Computer Science at the University of Canberra, Australia graduating with honours. I entered the postgraduate program in Systems Design at the University of Waterloo, Canada earning a M.A.Sc in 1975 and Ph.D in 1980.

In 1978, at the invitation of Professor Lionel March, I went to the Centre for Configurational Studies, Open University, England, where I worked on spatial configuration problems, graph theory programming, graphics programming and shape grammar implementation. For a year, in 1983, I worked in the Computer Science discipline on implementing the BCS recommended database query language. In 1984, I went to University of Edinburgh’s EdCAAD group headed by Aart Bijl to work on applications of artificial intelligence to architectural design and declarative graphics languages. During that time I worked closely with the AI group and the Cognitive Science on ESPRIT project dealing with the integration of graphics and natural language.

In 1988 I briefly left academe to work at Bolt, Beranek and Newman. I was involved in two major projects one on a semantic modeling system built on top of BBN’s KRNL system. The other project was SIMNET a war game simulation project in which I was responsible for writing the radio communication code. During that year I was also a project reviewer for ESPRIT.